The story of Marc Pelosi, the American prospect on the doorstep of Liverpool debut who retired at age 23 – The Athletic

“At first the adrenaline kicked in and I didn’t really feel the crazy pain. But then I looked down and my leg just hung. It was halved. The bones were completely broken. Everyone was in a panic.”

It was the moment when Marc Pelosi’s world collapsed. Life would never be the same for the highly regarded American youth international.

The 18-year-old had taken impressive strides towards fulfilling his dream of a senior Liverpool debut. He increasingly trained at Melwood alongside the likes of Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez. Manager Brendan Rodgers had added him to the club’s Europa League roster.

However, everything changed at The Hawthorns on 17 February 2013. The Liverpool Under-21s were moments away from a hard-fought 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion when he was knocked out by a reckless challenge. Liam O’Neil was sent away, but the consequences for Pelosi, who was transported in agony on a stretcher, were far greater.

“The doctor initially thought I had been in a car accident,” he tells The Athletic. “My leg turned purple. He said he had never seen such trauma through the leg from a football challenge.”

Complications from the healing process were followed by further setbacks from his injuries as he returned to action. He was released from Liverpool in 2015 and had a brief revival with San Jose Earthquakes in Major League Soccer, but the pain continued and after a series of surgeries and a lingering knee injury, he had to admit defeat. At the age of 23, his career was over.

Four years later, Pelosi is in a good place, but it was quite a journey to get here.

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